Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Valentine's Day is almost here! Alex and I are 6 days from leaving our little farmhouse in Maine and heading back to the West Coast, so things here have been a little hectic with all the organizing, packing, and insane excitement. This is our 4th V-Day spent together and I know exactly what my Valentine loves to get. He's not much for chocolate, but LOVES fruit and anything ice cream-esque, so to make him happy, I came up with this recipe. Its super simple, healthy, and a guilt-free sweet treat you can snuggle up & enjoy with your love after that romantic dinner.
Before we go any further though, a couple of notes on coconut milk:
-Coconut milk has a tendency to melt in heat. For best results, keep ice cream in the freezer until you're ready to eat so it doesn't get too soft.
-You can keep this recipe sugar-free by completely removing the sugar suggested or using a sugar substitute, such as stevia.
-Coconut milk is a tricky thing. Oh, Ladycakes did a great tutorial on making coconut whipped cream and how to avoid disaster. Some highlights: before buying flip your can and listen for a slight gurgle. If it sounds like there is room to slosh there is excess air-which you want to avoid. Refrigerate your can, untouched, overnight before using. Scoop gently, and use only the thickest, hardest, whitest part from the top. Keep the leftover coconut milk and toss it in a smoothie or at the very least, the compost. Also, I usually buy Thai Coconut brand because its consistently good and easy to find, but most other 100% full fat coconut milk cans will work.
2 - 15 oz. cans full-fat organic coconut milk
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Refrigerate the cans of coconut milk on a stable shelf overnight. When ready, open the can and scoop the full-fat, thick white layer off of the top half of the can and into a high speed blender or food processor. Save the clearish liquid at the bottom to use in smoothies, oatmeal, or anything else that requires a milk substitute.
Add the strawberries, sweetener, and vanilla to the blender and start to blend, slowly at first, faster as the strawberries break down. Blend it all together about 1 minute, or until all the ingredients are completely combined in a soft-serve texture. Scoop the mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl or loaf pan and toss it in the freezer for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Stir the mixture about every hour or so to aerate the ice ream and make it easier to scoop later.
When ready to eat, let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to soften up enough for serving. Scoop out into bowls, top with sprinkles if desired, and share with your Valentine! Saves in the freezer indefinitely if stored in a sealed container. Makes about 4 servings.